Wherever you are in the world it’s a good morning, good afternoon, or good evening to you. Firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my article. If the title of this article really resonates with you then I want to let you know that I totally empathize with how you are feeling right now. I understand your pain, as I too went through a lengthy period of doom and gloom. Even if it is not you who is suffering from depression I guess that there must be somebody close to you that is. For the purpose of clarity, I am going to talk as if it is you who is suffering from a mild to moderate form of depression.
While depression is a serious illness, you can fight back against it and win, so with your permission and some effort on your part I am going to show you several ways you can pull yourself back to that jolly happy person you once were. Yes, that’s right you can and you will be happy again and that’s a promise. Naturally, if you think you’re symptoms are more severe please seek medical advice from your doctor or physician I don’t have a medical background and can only let you in on some of the methods that worked for me. So make yourself a cup of tea, preferably use a nice china cup and if you haven’t got one, get one trust me tea tastes a whole lot better out of a china cup. Then sit back and relax and I’ll let you in on the secret sauce that took me from the depths of despair to a happy-go-lucky person today.
1. Think positive thoughts: You become what you think about all day long. So let’s assume you have a bagful of worries, most common are money issues, relationship problems, and bad health. Money worries now is that because you have too little or too much aha yes too much because stress is related to both. Are you fighting with your loved ones or are you living in fear that this wonderful happy relationship will not last? Bad health, who is in control here are you thinking positive thoughts like “Every day I am getting better and better, or are you thinking” I can’t go on, it’s not fair, I’m in so much pain”
2. Daily affirmations: Affirmations are hugely important I find, my favorite are “Every day I am getting better and better” others I used were “I am happy” even though I didn’t always feel it, I felt it was important to keep saying it. “Everything is going to turn out fine I have nothing to worry about” was another. Think of some affirmations now that would suit your particular circumstances, write them down and make a promise to repeat them several times a day.
3. Get outdoors: Regardless of the weather being stuck indoors doesn’t do anybody any good. When I think back to my childhood days we were sent out to play hail rain or sunshine and there was no such thing as “I don’t want to” Of course mums know best and my mother knew rightly that the fresh air, the exercise, and the vitamin D boost was the only medicine for healthy kids. Now I don’t expect you to run a marathon but a short daily walk will do wonders for your mood. The more you walk the more you will want to because those lovely endorphins (happy hormones) will kick in and you’ll get quite addicted to them. I’ll be honest I sometimes set off thinking I am not in the mood but I always end up saying I’m so glad I did.
4. Eat Chocolate: You weren’t expecting that were you? Now look, if you are anything like chocolate is one of your favorite treats, Why is it that women in particular love eating chocolate regardless of what is going on in our lives. Thankfully I discovered that dark chocolate is really good for you as it stimulates the production of those lovely endorphins and dark chocolate also contains serotonin a good mood enhancer. Best go for at least 70% cocoa, the higher the cocoa content the more nutritious the chocolate.
5. Your diet and lifestyle: A big symptom of depression is feeling tired, is it from lack of sleep or the food we eat? When we are down the last thing we feel like doing is going to the bottom drawers of the fridge and take out a whole bunch of vegetables that we have to wash, peel and chop, isn’t it much easier to fill yourself with unhealthy processed food, processed meat, fried bacon, and eggs, pastries, cakes, and the likes. Yeah, I ate plenty of the latter which I know did nothing for my state of mind, nor my energy levels, luckily I stumbled across the Paleo diet and I haven’t looked back since. I realized that eating what our ancestors ate, lean meats, fish, and lots and lots of vegetables really did give me more energy. Thankfully supermarkets offer a wide selection of healthy nutritious ready meals that you can have in your fridge, ready to eat or cook quickly.
6. Know who your friends are: We all have plenty of acquaintances but how many true friends do we have. If you are lucky enough to have people who really care about you and are not judgemental then please talk to them. Spending time with people who share your dreams, your goals and beliefs will help raise your spirits. A good friend will not judge but will help you see things from a different perspective. I always felt better after talking to my friend Clodagh as she made me realize that feelings are only temporary and she had a gift of relating a funny story that always seemed to cheer me up.
7. Look on the bright side: Ken Dodd the great British comedian was famously known for his song “Happiness” he said happiness was the greatest gift that he possessed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4a5vaIsaxB8. When my son was a little fella and got a bit grumpy his dad made him sing it. I have to say those lyrics got me through many’s a bad day. Even singing the word happiness over and over lifts your mood.
8. Take time to relax: Rushing around doing 101 things particularly when you are feeling low is exhausting. Take time out and treat yourself to a spa day. There is nothing more relaxing than a back massage or if you are feeling brave enough go for the whole body, the aromatherapy oils and scented candles will bring you to a place of bliss that you will make you feel you want to stay there forever. If you can afford it make it a weekly routine, it will be something to look forward to. That reminds me I must book one now for the weekend.
9. Join a club or group: Here’s something else to look forward to, what is your passion. Often we have no idea what we really enjoy unless we give it a go. Thankfully a friend pushed me into joining a line dancing group, the first night I was exhausted I found the steps difficult and I kept saying this is not for me. Valerie, my good friend took me the following week and after 5 years of line dancing, I can honestly say it’s the best thing ever. I made new friends, I get to go on group weekends away, and as an added bonus I am slimmer and fitter than ever before. Make a list of hobbies or interests now and see what you could do, the important thing is to take action, maybe try a few different ideas until you find the one that put a smile on your face.
10. Think about all the good things in your life: What do you have to be thankful for, what gives you pleasure? Each of us has something good in our lives even if it’s only the fact that we are still alive, it matters. Make a daily list of the many things that you are thankful for, the bed you slept in, the clothes you put on this morning, the food you ate, the unexpected phone call from an old friend, the smile from the stranger you met on your walk, there are thousands of things to be grateful for the more you get into the gratitude frame of mind the better you will feel.
Albert Einstein once, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result”. So do yourself a favor and take on at least some of the ideas presented to you in this article. They may not all work, but at the very least you can say that you tried. I can tell you this, they worked for me and they could very possibly work for you, I wish you the very best on your journey and always remember, tomorrow is another day.